This summer there have been crazy fires out west, and when they show the stories on the news, I always think about “what would I take if I had to suddenly leave home, and didn’t know if it would be here when I could get back?” I have a mental list. It includes, of course, the cats, and some knitting and then it kind of gets lost in the weeds.
But it never occurred to me to think what I would do if I could not get home.
That happened to me Wednesday. It was only for a couple of hours, but it was scary!
It rained. It rained a lot.
We got almost ten inches of rain in 12 hours, and that was just more than the ditches and culverts could bear. As a result, when I tried to go home from work, I could almost but not quite get there. There are two roads we can take to get to our little lane. Both of them had washouts so severe that they were closed. I couldn’t really wrap my head around it, and checked them both twice. How could I not get home?
What was almost worse was that I could not get to any friend or family member that I could think of in those moments of disbelief. So many roads were closed! I COULD drive the 20 miles back to work, but I hesitated to do that in case the road washed out and I couldn’t get this close to home again.
So I went to the fire station and waited there, watching the map get more and more pins in it showing road closures. I listened to the dispatcher talk to firemen on the scene in so many locations – directing traffic, getting people out of their cars, waiting for tow trucks to get the cars out of the water. Learning of more road closures. How could so many roads be closed? Where would people go who could not get home from work?
I couldn’t get home to make sure that HOME was OK, that the cats were fine. I knew in my head that the cats were asleep and didn’t know anything unusual was happening, but in my heart, I was terrified for them. What if I couldn’t get home for a few days? They had some dry food but not enough for a long absence. I could call the neighbor, but how would they get in the house?
It was a long wait, but eventually the road crews got one of the roads cleaned up and repaired enough to be passable. I headed for home, and found that all was well. Our lane was in rough shape but with care, I could get down it. My house was warm, safe, and dry. Power was on, cats were sleeping peacefully by the window. They never noticed I was late. Or if they did, it didn’t alarm them.
It sure alarmed me!